[CT Birds] mulberry issues

Anthony Zemba Anthony.Zemba at gza.com
Wed Jun 20 13:41:18 EDT 2012


Regarding Mulberries - a couple of things to consider:

Some consider the non-native White Mulberry to be weedy or invasive (see Uva, et al. 1997 for example). I did not see it listed on CT's invasive plant list (attached) but am familiar with its "weediness" in an urban setting (Hartford) where I had a heck of a time keeping it at bay growing from cracks along the house foundation, sidewalk, and along a chainlink fence. It was a fast grower, can be a prolific fruiter, and coppiced readily from cut stumps. The fact that birds love the fruit means it's seeds will easily be dispersed despite some's well-intentioned efforts to try and "control" it (same with wineberry BTW, which IS listed on CT's invasive plant list).  I believe it is on the Army Corps of Engineers list? Or CTDOT list? of species that should not be planted for habitat restoration projects (but don't quote me on that).

Yes, Red Mulberry is our native mulberry species, but (on the other side of the conservation spectrum) it is listed as an endangered species in CT (CTDEEP, 2010). It is generally NOT a good reason to plant nursery stock of rare plants (i.e., re-introductions) due to the risk of genetic supression. Genetic suppression is a term used to describe what happens when the genetics of a local population are negatively impacted by the introduction of new genes of the same species but from populations found outside of the ecoregion. This often leads to the extirpation of the native population.

I read somewhere that the genetic suppression concept was implicated in the demise of the Bobwhite in the northeast. Apparently an attempt was made by game officials to bolster local population levels with birds collected from VA that were released into New England.  These southern birds did not exhibit the same cold-weather hardiness that New England Bobwhites did and so after a few tough winters, Bobwhite populations plummeted as the southern birds genes were now intermingled with the formerly cold-hearty New England birds that were no longer cold hearty.

Now, since I don't have the citation for this concept (perhaps those in academia on this list following this thread can provide?), take it with a grain of salt right now (I am sure the story is not that simple, and it is likely a number of other factors that came into play adding a cumulative impact - like habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, the spread of coyotes into New England, etc); but suffice to say, conservation biologists working in plant conservation advise not to try and reintroduce endangered plants into an area w/o knowledge of the origin of the seed source (John Burns NEWFS, personal communication).

Cited:

CTDEP. 2010. Connecticut’s Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern Species. State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, 2010.

Uva, R.H., J.C. Neal, & J.M. DiTomaso. 1997. Weeds of the Northeast. Cornell University Press. Ithaca, New York.

Anthony Zemba CHMM
Certified Ecologist / Soil Scientist
GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

655 Winding Brook Drive
Suite 402
Glastonbury, CT 06033

ONE FINANCIAL PLAZA
1350 Main Street
Springfield, MA 01103

413-726-2127
860-966-5888 (cell)
413-732-1249 (fax)
anthony.zemba at gza.com




-----Original Message-----
From: ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org [mailto:ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of twomirers at comcast.net
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 10:10 PM
To: Jan Hollerbach
Cc: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org; Carrier Graphics
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] where to get native tree and shrub species



When looking for mulberry trees for planting in your yards, you might want to consider looking specifically for the red mulberry (Morus rubra). It is the species native to this part of the eastern U.S. Many other species are available in various garden catalogs. They were initially brought to the U.S. by silk merchants attempting to raise silkworms here. The center for this industry, as many of you know, was in Manchester, CT.



Rob Mirer

Moodus




 iPhoneOn Jun 18, 2012, at 8:32 PM, Carrier Graphics <carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> What a wonderful response I received from so many on this site about
> my Mulberry tree and its bird users. Thanks you all!
> As far as where to get native tree and shrub species, i believe the
> State grows and sells many here in our State. Does anyone here on this
> site know of how to contact the state about purchasing these plants?
> So many people wanted to know where they can get them.......Please
> post here if you know. Many would be interested..........Thanks
>
> Paul Carrier
> _______________________________________________
> This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
> For subscription information visit
> http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.or
> g

_______________________________________________
This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org
_______________________________________________
This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org
________________________________
This electronic message is intended to be viewed only by the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may
contain privileged and/or confidential information intended for the exclusive use of the addressee(s). If you are
not the intended recipient, please be aware that any disclosure, printing, copying, distribution or use of this
information is prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and
destroy this message and its attachments from your system.
________________________________
For information about GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. and its services, please visit our website at www.gza.com<http://www.gza.com/>.


More information about the CTBirds mailing list